Deadly Record (1959)

deadly1Deadly Record is absolutely a supporting feature- back when films were distributed as double-features, the secondary film would be a less-popular, lower budget b-movie usually made cheaply simply for the purpose of being the lesser half of the double-bill, and Deadly Record is absolutely that kind of movie. Indeed, its difficult to really describe it as a movie at all -although it undoubtedly is-  as the film runs barely 58 mins long and in the US actually wound up as an episode of a television anthology show titled Kraft Mystery Theatre

Canadian actor Lee Patterson plays airline pilot Trevor Hamilton who is accused of the murder of his wife and sets out to clear his name by finding out who actually did it. The films only notable feature is that it co-stars the great Barbara Shelley as a family friend/work colleague who helps Hamilton to unravel the mystery. The shortness of the film really cuts out any character beats or time to really raise any dramatic stakes, its all very quick and pulpish, really. A longer film might have worked up some film noir tropes but Deadly Record really doesn’t have the running time or resources. Which is a little odd, because the film does have an imaginative and rather successful title sequence, in which the main credits are the handwritten entries on the  pages of a diary being turned by hand in-front of the camera. It suggests a better film is about to follow but, er, it really doesn’t. Patterson is fairly wooden and Shelley has little to do but fawn over him. A pretty forgettable effort, really, but one suspects there really wasn’t much ambition for it to be anything else, and at least at just 58 minutes long it doesn’t outstay its welcome.

4 thoughts on “Deadly Record (1959)

  1. I’m very fond of these B features and like Lee Patterson as a lead – he made a ton of these. Director Lawrence Huntington made some interesting features – look out for a rather good James Mason effort The Upturned Glass.

    1. To be fair to Patterson, the film wasn’t really demanding much of him, likewise Barbara Shelley, who seems to have been always better than the roles she was given. I’ll look out for that James Mason title, thanks, he was always worth a watch.

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